(A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that 48 Polish companies still pay taxes in Russia. It also said that 32 firms “have pledged to make an exit from the Russian market, but have not followed through on their commitment to leave completely.” However, some of the companies in this category never had offices in Russia so were never capable of fulfilling the “exit” category as defined by KSE and are in fact doing the maximum that they can do if they never had any assets in Russia).
Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began, two Polish companies have completely left the Russian market and sold their shares, another 32 Polish companies have announced plans to leave or suspend their activity in Russia, twelve are waiting and limiting their investments, and four are still staying, according to KSE Institute.
Polish companies that pay taxes in Russia may be indirectly subsidizing its invasion of Ukraine, wiping out the over €3 billion ($3.3 billion) the Polish government is spending to support the country, noted in the B4Ukraine Coalition.
In 2021, 50 Polish companies (with share in capital 50+%) observed by the KSE Institute, provided jobs for at least 4,688 people in Russia, those companies generated $1.7 bn in annual revenue, paid $23 mn of taxes, had $923 mn in capital and $1.2 bn in assets.
Two companies that have completely left the Russian market and sold their shares are clothing manufacturer LPP (Reserved, Cropp, Mohito, and Sinsay brands) and frozen fruit and vegetable firm Hortex. In 2021, they employed 829 Russians, generated $735 mn in annual revenue, had $229 m in capital, and $448 m in assets, KSE numbers indicate. LPP and Hortex allegedly generated ~43% of the total revenue the observed 50 Polish businesses had.
32 Polish companies that announced plans to leave or suspend their activity in Russia employed 400 people in Russia, generated $197 mn (12%) in annual revenue, and had $18 mn in capital and $73 mn in assets, according to the data. For instance, oil refinery PKN Orlen, manufacturer of trailers Wielton, manufacturer of ventilation, fire-protection systems SMAY are included in this group by the KSE Institute. However, it notes that a lot of companies in this category are trading ones and don’t have staff or offices in the country.
Four companies are still staying and twelve are waiting and limiting their investments. Collectively, these generated a significant portion of the revenue ($777 mn or 45%) received by observed Polish companies in Russia and employed 74% of staff, the researchers said.
According to them, the four companies that have chosen to stay in Russia are manufacturer of power supply devices APS Energia, real estate developer Liebrecht & Wood, adhesive manufacturer Macrochem, and wood-based materials and floors producer Swiss Krono, while state oil and gas company PGiNG, leading manufacturer of beverage packaging CANPACK and manufacturer of pharmaceuticals Polpharma are waiting have just reduced their activities.
“At a time when Polish people are supporting Ukrainians by all means possible and their government is providing billions of dollars’ worth of military and financial aid to Ukraine, some Polish firms are helping fund, albeit indirectly, the Russian war machine. Businesses that contribute to Russia’s war by paying taxes and supplying resources to Russia must leave now or be held to account,” – said Nataliia Popovych, the Founder & President of One Philosophy & WeAreUkraine and a member of B4Ukraine Steering Committee.
B4Ukraine is a coalition of more than 80 civil society groups in Ukraine and around the world working to block access to the economic and financial resources enabling Russian aggression, which is an attack on the rules-based international order itself.
B4Ukraine calls on Polish businesses to put humanitarian values before profit and leave Russia, relocate production sites from the country, stop paying payroll and corporate taxes, and stop trade with Russia altogether. We are grateful to Polish companies that have completed their exit from Russia and are no longer funding the war against Ukraine and the free world.